Dipping again into the world of the sci-fi/superhero/noir mash-up, Adam Christopher follows up his debut novel, Empire State, with The Age Atomic. A year after the dystopic parallel universe version of Manhattan, the Empire State, was saved by Rad Bradley and his companions, a new threat emerges. The Fissure, which keeps the Empire State connected to New York, has vanished, and without its energy, the Empire State is slowly descending into a deadly deep freeze. Meanwhile, an army of robots left over from the war appears to be assembling.
On the New York side of the fissure, things are also becoming troubled. Here, four years have passed, and the Fissure, while still there, is not safe. The mysterious government organization Atoms for Peace, led by a resurrected and super-powered Evelyn McHale, is scheming to take control.
Sadly, I can’t say that The Age Atomic comes out as a better novel than its predecessor. It’s not worse, which is uncommon for sequels, but it’s also not better. This story suffers from the same pitfalls as Empire State of a slow exposition and a confusing resolution. Granted, the ultimate conclusion was quite a bit clearer. I did understand what everyone was doing and why, at least in the immediate sense. However, this conclusion left several large plot threads dangling, as most of what was going on with the robots of the Empire State side was never explained, and even the open ending did little to satisfyingly solve this problem.
Unfortunately, The Age Atomic simply does not possess that breakout quality it needs to put it a cut above the rest.My rating: 3.5 out of 5.